9.2 Users Roaming Between Sites

This topic describes the issues that can occur when users temporarily change their workplaces and roam between sites.

Roaming users do not travel with a device (softphone) but use any available phone at the current location.

When users roam between sites and do not have their phone with them (for example, via Cisco IP Communicator), they might want to use any available phone at the site to which they have traveled.

Issues of Roaming Users

Using guest phones at remote sites leads to several issues.

If a user uses a phone in a different site, the following occurs:

  • Extensions are traditionally bound to constant devices.
  • User gets the wrong extension on that phone.
  • User gets the wrong calling privileges.
  • User has no speed dials available.
  • User has wrong services assigned.
  • MWI status does not work with different extensions.

The figure lists the most common issues that arise when users use any available guest phone at sites to which they have traveled. These issues include wrong extension numbers and calling privileges, other speed-dial configuration and phone-service assignments, and no MWI status for the actual number of the user.

For correct settings, the user requires Cisco Unified Communications Manager to reconfigure the used phone with a user-specific configuration instead of having device-specific settings that are applied to the phone.

Cisco Extension Mobility Solves Issues of Roaming Users

Cisco Unified Communications Manager Extension Mobility offers functionality that is designed to enhance the mobility of users within a Cisco Unified Communications Manager cluster.

Issue Without Cisco Extension Mobility Issue Solved with Cisco Extension Mobility Feature
Extensions are bound to physical devices. Extensions are bound to device profiles.
Speed dials are assigned to physical devices. Speed dials are assigned to device profiles.
Services are assigned to physical devices. Services are assigned to device profiles.
MWI status is defined for physical devices. MWI status is updated during Cisco Extension Mobility login.
Calling privileges are defined for physical devices and locations. Calling privileges result from merge of line settings (device-based) and physical device settings (location-related).

The figure shows the issues that Cisco Extension Mobility solves.

Although the device is not the home device of the user, it is reconfigured with user-specific settings that are stored in profiles. This action allows the separation of user-specific parameters (which are stored in profiles) from the device-specific parameters that are still stored in the phone configuration (along with default values for user-specific settings). The phone will adapt some of its behavior, according to the individual user who is using the phone.

A user login, in which the user is identified by user ID and PIN, triggers the configuration changes. When the user stops using the phone, the user logs out and the default configuration is reapplied. Thus, the phone configuration adapts to the user.